Whether it is your first marathon or a 5k run, you need to prepare yourself. Lack of preparation could make it a strenuous experience.
Also, preparing yourself and training your body for it could reduce the anxiety that comes before a race. As long-distance running is more a matter of endurance, your preparations should focus on lasting longer in the field.
Here are some steps to take at least a day before the run starts. It revolves round food, water and flexibility.
Food is your fuel. Focus on what you eat. At least one night before the day of the marathon, eat leafy vegetables (kale and spinach), cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli), sweet potato for carbohydrates and chicken for lean protein.
The next step is to get your pre-race meal right. Eat your meal a couple of hours before the race. In fact, keep it simple. Eating just a sweet potato may also be enough.
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Eating a heavy meal could slow you down or make you feel the urge to pass bowels during the race.
If your race is scheduled as early as 4am or 5am, you can go ahead without eating anything. The meal you have consumed the night before can fuel you. If you still think you have to eat something, go for a banana 30 minutes before the race.
After diet, hydration is the key. Start drinking water at least a day before the event. Drink a glass of water every 30 minutes.
But just before your event, you don't need to drink much as you have been hydrating since a day before. In fact, drink less water before the race to avoid the urge to pass urine during the race.
The next step is to warm up your body. Before the race or marathon starts, warm up your body to prepare it for the activity.
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This will also loosen up the stiff muscles. Simply perform jumping jacks, on-the-spot jogging and sprints to charge your body.
If it is a marathon, start slow. Don't get too excited as you may run out of your energy supply if you try to speed up in the initial stages.
After you get through half of the distance, you can slowly increase the pace and start pushing your body's limits. At that point, don't feel the pressure as it may sap your energy levels and slow you down.
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